Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, Aug. 2


Exempt classic cars from limo safety bill

We are members of car clubs that specialize in older collector cars, including ambulances, hearses, flower cars and other altered vehicles. We display our cars at shows and club events and are NOT involved in any activity where our cars are used for commercial purposes.
In fact, we refuse to even loan them as a favor for weddings, etc. The cars are only driven occasionally.
It goes without saying that the horrible limousine crash that took so many precious lives was a tragedy for the families and loved ones that could have been avoided.
Action to prevent such a crash of this kind was needed. Prevention of an unsafe vehicle used commercially or by the private sector must not happen and our organization fully supports that action.
Unfortunately, New York state, in an attempt to enact legislation that would stop this from happening, has included collector cars as well. As of today, those of us who have cars that have been altered will no longer be able to have them inspected. This is a result of us having to get our cars recertified to 2011 federal standards. Coach builders are not willing to certify a 1980s car to a 2011 standard.
Currently, Rep. Paul Tonko and U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are pushing a limousine safety bill in Congress (S.1529) to be effective across the United States.
We are asking all car enthusiasts to contact their state legislators and support this bill, but request an exemption for historic collector cars.
Gus Boucher
Ray Stanton

Bill would impede freedom of speech

I’m writing regarding the Dallas Morning News editorial (“Vaccine misinformation justifies reforms”) printed in the July 28 Gazette about Sen. Amy Klobuchar introducing a bill to start legislation that would curtail the liability protections of social media companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
This legislation should be a red flag for people interested in freedom of speech.
The off-brand media outlets are the ones that’ll often tell the truth. The large companies are covering for a government that is claiming ownership over its citizens, and their thinking. That goes against our history, as well as the intent of our founders and of the Constitution.
Remember, would-be tyrants target media reporting, confiscate guns, silence critics and withhold necessities. By the time the populace understands the situation, it is too late to react.
This legislation should be called the “Keep the Citizens Ignorant Act.” What next, your right to question government actions?
Francis Van Staveren

Recruiting effort raises questions

Thank you for the Bloomberg Opinion column published in the Gazette on July 18 (“U.S. must step up military recruiting”) regarding the military “stepping up” their recruiting efforts.
The column cites how the task of recruiting is difficult due to the “dwindling number of Americans willing and able to serve” and “Only 13% of young adults express a positive propensity to serve”.
With only 2% of the target population fitting the criteria the services covet, I would like the parents of those qualified individuals to ask your kids: “Why would you defend the 87% that dismiss you as cannon fodder, serve under leadership that has not won a war since 1945 and that accepts U.S. casualties before inflicting damage on the enemy?”
We need you “two percenters” more than they do.
Defunding the police and cutting Pentagon funding naturally leads to a shortage of police officers and makes it difficult to fill military slots.
In publishing the subject column, is it becoming a concern to our “woke” betters, that the “host” may not choose to defend the “parasites” any longer?
Peter Struzzi

Many Tonko donors from outside district

One of the most boring things that someone can do is go over a candidate’s FEC (Federal Election Commission) filling report.
Yet that’s what I chose to do the other day when I looked at Congressman Paul Tonko’s report.
Normally I would have called Mr. Tonko OUR congressman, but after reading the report I’m not so sure of that.
I found that of the individual donations that he received (donations from everyday people), only slightly more than half actually came from the Capital Region.
When you include the amount he raised from PACs, roughly 75% of his donations come from out of the district.
This is an exceptional amount of money that does not have the Capital Region’s best interest at heart. It raises in my mind the question of Mr. Tonko’s objectivity when goes to cast our vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Because I’m a glutton for punishment, and out of curiosity, I also took a look at Mr. Tonko’s opponent, Liz Joy, and found that over 90% of her donations do come from this district. This fact alone tells me that Mrs. Joy is far more concerned with the people of NY-20 than Mr. Tonko is.
Thomas Armstrong

Using wrong words can skew message

We all know that words matter. The wrong words or words used too casually can often cause damage that is difficult or impossible to repair.
As an example, ’defund the police’ was intended to deflect tasks other than law enforcement to professionals other than police.
The intent was to free up police for what they are trained to do and let other professionals deal with things like domestic disputes.
The term was, and remains, a stupid use of the words because it becomes a rallying cry.
That’s why I was shocked to hear a journalist who ought to know better use the term ‘gun control’ on a network news show recently.
Sure, in a perfect society, guns could be controlled like automobiles, licensed and registered.
But in American culture, that’s not about to happen. The term becomes a rallying cry for every gun owner and militia that is convinced the government wants to confiscate their weapons.
How counter-productive and stupid for a journalist to still be using that term on national TV.
How about ‘gun safety’ or ‘reduce gun violence.’ That’s right, ABC, it was your show.
Thomas P. Herrmann

Masks, vaccines cross political lines

I asked a simple question to a coworker, “Do you think we’ll be required to wear masks again?” since I clearly noticed a greater number of customers entering wearing masks.
Well, I got a speech about whether or not Gov. Cuomo needs higher approval ratings to “I survived COVID-19 once and I’ll do it again; I’m not wearing a mask for anyone.”
Never answered the question.
There seems no shortage of reasons why many people choose to not wear masks or vaccinate, but only one reason to do both — which is stopping COVID-19/Delta variant spread. However there is no common ground.
This is not a political or religious debate, it’s about the health of all of us. How did this get so complicated? How did we all become so selfish?
Sure you can blame Donald Trump, Dr. Fauci, the CDC, President Biden, Red States vs. Blue States, the clergy, and the list can run in perpetuity. It doesn’t change the fact this virus can affect anyone, regardless of political or religious affiliation.
The bigger problem is that news and opinion have become one in the same.
There is more opinion, unverified I might add, over the airwaves and social media that people don’t believe the news media.
It may have changed, but print media needed three sources to verify a story before print. Not true on the web. I’ll stick with print and the visual reminder of all the refrigerated trailers full of bodies in New York City as proof.
Bob Belive


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion



Bob Belive: Thank you for your letter. The very bottom line is that everyone wants the COVID-19 pandemic to end. If people, stop making this a political issue, follow the science and comply with CDC recommendation we would be on the fast track to recovery. Too bad everyone doesn’t get.


Needed coffee before putting up first post: Comma came out of nowhere and last word “it” was missing.

Bob Belive: Thank you for your letter. The very bottom line is that everyone wants the COVID-19 pandemic to end. If people stop making this a political issue, follow the science and comply with CDC recommendation we would be on the fast track to recovery. Too bad everyone doesn’t get it.

William Marincic

Like 14 days to stop the spread. Or get vaccinated and get rid of the mask.

In September, Harris, then the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate, hesitated when asked if she would take a vaccine that was approved before the election.

Cuomo went further, suggesting he mistrusted not just President Donald Trump, but also the Food and Drug Administration under Trump. Asked about his confidence in the FDA, Cuomo indicated he didn’t have much.

In an interview for a journalism conference Aug. 6, 2020, Biden said:

“The way he (Trump) talks about the vaccine is not particularly rational. He’s talking about it being ready, he’s going to talk about moving it quicker than the scientists think it should be moved … . People don’t believe that he’s telling the truth, therefore they’re not at all certain they’re going to take the vaccine. And one more thing: If and when the vaccine comes, it’s not likely to go through all the tests that need to be done, and the trials that are needed to be done.”

And you wonder why there is vaccine hesitancy

Most of us wonder why (not really) it’s only the red states having the most issues getting vaccination. Care to field that one, Bill?

According to this Gazette a story last week said that the largest unvaccinated segment of NY State were African Americans. So let’s continue to accuse Republicans.

My point was about states, and you had to play the race card.
You’re gonna impugn those scary people of color somehow or other, aren’t you? Kind of a derangement, it seems. We get it.
But good luck with that problem in 2022 and beyond! Sounds like a winning strategy!

There’s vaccine hesitancy because people are fed so much misinformation through social media. From the crazy left-wing anti-vaxxers who believe in “natural” remedies, to the Q-Anon wackos on the right who think the vaccines have microchips and magnets in them. Democrats are pushing for vaccines as a way to get out of this pandemic, and Republicans think that not taking the vaccine is somehow a heroic freedom stand against big government. As if my under-12 children who can’t get vaccinated yet, shouldn’t have the freedom to go to school next year without fearing contracting COVID from another child in an unvaccinated household or a vaccine hesitant teacher or school employee. I just wish more politicians from the hard hit REPUBLICAN southern states wouldn’t play vaccine politics. Peoples’ lives depend on it.

According to (FL Rep. Matt) Gaetz, that’s just the cost of doing business in Florida.

“You’ve had all the experts say look out for the Delta variant or the Lambda variant. Well, next it’ll be the Chi Omega variant or the Pi Kappa Psi variant,” Gaetz joked at a Saturday rally in Largo, Florida.

“I got the Florida variant. I got the freedom variant,” Gaetz added. “It affects the brain. It gets you to think for yourself where you don’t just surrender to the truth that they’re trying to create in corrupt big media.”
We’ve been subject to this nonsense for over a year. This is your Republican/Trump Party’s response. No, Bill, we here on Earth do not “wonder why there is vaccine hesitancy”.


Thomas Armstrong – I cannot think of an established congressperson who does not get outside corporate and PAC contributions. Liz Joy doesn’t get much because she doesn’t have standing and why give money to an established loser, especially one that supports Trump and the failed Jan. 6 insurrection and anti-democratic attempt to overthrow the election?

Have you looked at Stefanik’s contributions? She is raking in plenty of contributions, too. Google: Rep. Elise Stefanik – New York District 21 • OpenSecrets

Bottom line is that there is too much “dark” money in politics. The conservative Supreme Court dealt us an injustice by allowing corporate contribution in the Citizen United case.


New York conservatives whined for a year that Cuomo acted like a dictator requiring shutdowns and mask wearing to reduce the impact of Covid-19. It worked. Then they forced the state’s Dems to take away his power. Now it seems like no one is in charge.

Now look at what’s happening in Florida. They are breaking their own virus and hospitalization records. Governor (and wannabe dictator) Ron DiSantis is responding by getting the GOP legislature to not allow local vaccine or mask wearing mandates and taking the authority away from local governments and school boards from mandating that unvaccinated kids wear a mask. If Cuomo did that, the majority in the state would hang him.

DiSantis is competing with Gov. Abbott of Texas to see who can be more Trump-like, in case fat boy from Mara-Lago decides not to run, or at least be a candidate for VP.


Forgot to mention that DeSantis also threatens to withhold funding if a locality doesn’t comply with his executive order. Guess he wants to kill off teenagers whose parents won’t let them get vaccinated.


Our own County goverment(run by developer chosen conservatives) is afraid to re establish ANY anti-virus mandates. Even though 43 cases in last three months IN the county office building. And by the way three dead.
Every thing else you posted is absolutely true. Can’t even imagine have children or being a teacher here.
Thought Rick Scott was bad when we moved here, he only wanted to grift the goverment for money.This guy is all in on anti science, anti common sense,wannabe dictator is right. Like Trump only “smarter” and more dangerous as he has Republican legislators at his beck and call.

Joseph Vendetti

So shocking that both major political parties have played games with trusting, not trusting, masking, not masking – as I have said before, there is not a single politician in this day and age that cares about you. You & I are a vote, a step to get elected, more power comes with more seniority.

Push for congressional TERM LIMITS.



Joe, please don’t put the Dems in the same group with the GOP who regularly lies and misinforms the public to serve its master Trump.

I totally agree with your last paragraph.


“So shocking that both major political parties have played games with trusting, not trusting, masking, not masking.” – Joe, please realize the difference is the Republicans have been playing Russian roulette and the Democrats are playing checkers when it comes to Covid and game analogies.

Sorry, remind us how the Democrats have ‘played games’ with masking? Or trusting?
Or do you just feel that they do?

ChuckD. I believe Mr. Marincic reminded you above but typical to those on the left that post here, you never want to see the truth about the democrats. Just like you accused me of racism for post a Gazette article, do you believe that it’s only African Americans in NY State? You would be wrong again.

President Donald Trump, Thursday, 23 April 2020
“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous – whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light – and I think you said that hasn’t been checked because of the testing. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that, too,” Trump said.

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